Sri Lanka lawmaker says election spending should be capped

Aug 11, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should cap election spending to prevent honest politicians being crowded out and criminal elements entering the parliament, a breakaway ruling party politician has said.

“One of the proposals I have submitted for consideration for the next manifesto is to have some form of a cap for election spending because I really think you must have a level playing field for all candidates,” Mangala Samaraweera, a former foreign minister, said.

“Otherwise if you go in the direction you are going now parliament will become a place where the underworld and other unsavory elements will use as an institution to launder their black money.

“Most of these people who make millions and millions in mysterious ways are now coming to parliament, with impunity and even boasting about the amounts they are spending.”

The lack of a level playing field under the current social structure of the economy has diluted the quality of members of parliament, Samaraweera said.

In most developed countries, the electoral system has statutory laws capping election spends by individuals and their political parties.

In the UK in most constituencies each candidate has a maximum limi